"There's a good reason why Joe Magnarelli is one of the most in-demand trumpeters of the day - he's a profound artist who mixes deep lyricism, hard swing and a far reaching musical aesthetic into a scintillating whole." Zan Stewart.
"Lookin’ Up! is simply damned good, no-nonsense, straight-ahead jazz carried out with veteran proficiency." Something Else Review.
"His playing is consistently superb." All About Jazz
“Magnarelli is a stalwart master of strong, lyrical, straightahead blowing.” DownBeat Magazine
Syracuse native Joe Magnarelli moved to New York City in 1986 and soon became a regular participant on the Manhattan-and-beyond jazz scene. In 1987, he toured and recorded with Lionel Hampton and Brother Jack McDuff. In 1990, Joe was a semifinalist at the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition in Washington, D.C. That decade also found him performing and recording with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Harry Connick, Jr., the Hard Bop Quintet and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
In 2003-2006, Mags performed with the great Latin jazz conguero Ray Barretto’s New Sextet. Joe recorded on Ray’s “Time Was, Time Is” (O+ Music), which was nominated for a GRAMMY. Other artists and ensembles Joe has performed with include the Louis Hayes Quintet, Jon Hendricks, the Marty Sheller Nonet, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Dado Moroni, Rosemary Clooney, the Tom Harrell Big Band, Ben Wolfe, Harry Whitaker, Junior Mance, John Pizzarelli, Mark Sherman, Jane Monheit, and the Vanguard Orchestra.
Joe made his debut as a leader in 1994 with “Why Not” (Criss Cross), an excellent album which featured Eric Alexander, Renee Rosnes, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington. It was followed by three others CDs on Criss Cross: “Always There” (1997), “Mr. Mags” (2000), and “Hoop Dreams” (2005) where he is joined by great sidemen such as Larry Goldings, Gary Smulyan, David Hazeltine, Jim Sneidero or Peter Bernstein. In 2012, Magnarelli recorded a Live at Smalls (Smalls Live) with the late, great pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Dwayne Burno and drummer Jason Brown.
"Joe Magnarelli has all the essentials one looks for in the best jazz musicians. There's his unshakeable time feel that makes his work vigorous and forward moving. His tone is bold yet breathy, and while it recalls Kenny Dorham's or Donald Byrd's, it's more his own than anyone else's. And he crafts captivating, propulsive improvisations, taking fluid bits of sumptuous melody and edgy statements from the jazz lore and ties them together into long enchanting chains of musical thought." LOS ANGELES TIME.
"For over 20 years, Joe Magnarelli has been a busy sideman in New York, where he is universally known as "Mags." . He is all fire and speed and precision, with a bright metal tone... Mags always blows his ass off, but everything he plays rounds into meaningful, elegant form." THOMAS CONRAD, STEREOPHILE